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Hi I'm James

I was born in Cleveland, OH USA. I work in facilities management. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a husband and father. I work in facilties management and deal with HVAC systems on a regular basis. I met my wife in college and we were married in the Oakland California Temple. We have five children ages 13,15,17,19 and 21. My early life was spent as a member of another faith. Although this faith was full of wonderful people there were too many unanswered questions about life. For several years I did not participate in any religious activity until I one day found The Book of Mormon at the public library. I read it over the course of two years and it has changed my life. I was a baptised a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1985.

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon for a variety of reasons. The Plan of Salvation contains the only answers to questions I have had about where we came from and why we are here on Earth. The Book of Mormon is the most important book in our religion with clear and present-minded teachings contained inside its pages. I have learned great, yet simple truths, that help me live my life to bless the lives of those around me as well as with great personal satisfaction.

How I live my faith

Heavenly Father has provided us with the Plan of Salvation as a guide to live our lives. The knowledge of WHERE we came from, WHY we are here and WHERE we are going helps me to understand my purpose in this life. I am not perfect, and can only be made so through the Atonement, but through our faith we can best bless the lives of those around us. By striving to live by my faith I have learned that the bad times are not so bad and ther good times are whole lot better.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Paid clergy do not exist in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church have jobs in the world to sustain their lives. We believe that all members of the Church are clergy and called to serve in various capacities to serve as God's servants on the Earth. We do this work as teachers, missionaries, clerks and organization leaders. It is taught in the Book of Mormon that we are to serve one another with love and kindness but not for money. While we respect the paid clergy of other faiths, we do believe in the words of Our Lord and Savior when he said "Ye cannot serve God and mammon (money)" Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

A testimony is a personal belief that one has obtained through prayer, fasting, study and other spiritual experiences that Jesus is the Christ. A testimony is, in some ways, a gift from Our Hevenly Father. This gift provides us with hope and forgiveness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We share our testimony verbally as well as through our actions. Show more Show less

Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?

Jesus Christ is the Savior of humanity. He is also a great teacher. His teachings have helped me to live my life properly. All of His teachings are important. Kindness, love and serving others are key principles He taught to us. These aren't just words. Jesus teaches HOW to do these things. The greatest influential teaching of Our Lord in my life is FORGIVENESS. Because God has forgiven us for our weakness we, in turn, forgive others. In the Holy Scriptures we learn HOW to do this. Some things that happen are very minor. We all use our agency on this Earth and often we "bump" one another. It is not deliberate or intentional but it happens. These small things are easy to forgive. Sometimes people intentionally hurt one another. This is tougher to handle. The Savior taught us to forgive others. We do this by praying the pain away, or meeting with the individual that we hurt or that hurt us and apologize to them. This greatly lifts the pain form us. Should they not forgive us or we cannot ease our pain then we simply "give up" the pain to the Atonement. Through the Atonement all sins are forgiven. Our burden has been lifted. We are active in this process by confessing our weaknesses to the Savior and apologizing. An old movie from the 1970's had a line one of the actors spoke. "Love means never having to say your sorry." I would like to phrase it differently; "love mean saying your sorry or saying I forgive you." Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Pornography is, in my opinion, the greatest moral attack on the human spirit on the Earth in our day. It is demeaning and addictive. It causes those who participate in it to view others as objects of desire. Pornography often motivates individuals commit crimes against others. It burns the soul with a neverending lust that can never be satisfied. Civilization suffers from this. The quality of life is reduced. My family and I recently stayed at a hotel. There was a television in the room. This hotel was offering pornography to its guests. This was another money-maker. It was disappointing to me since this hotel chain had a good reputation as family-freindly. Profits before people. We should not view films or any material that contains any type of pornographic material. Often pornography is portrayed as "art" to disguise its addicting nature. It is up to us to not support this burning plague with our time and money. There are self-centered, evil indivduals who profit from this industry. Many others are exploited and abused as a result. Let us not help the evil profiteers of this plague upon our planet. Those who are tyring to recover from an addiction to pornography will be the first to confess how difficult it can be. The mental, emotional and spiritual pain is relentless. Recovery takes months and years. It is any moral person's responsbility to be active against any legislation that would support pornography. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

I am married to a super woman. The roles of husband and wife are somewhat tradtional but not stuck in a time capsule. The wife and husband are equal and participate equally in the family decision-making. It is preferable that the husband support the family through work BUT in this day-and-age sometimes the wife has to work as well. The employment should not be to support extravagent living but for the simple needs of life. The husband and wife should pray together, study together and enjoy one another's company. My wife is my best friend. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Grace is the gift whereby we are forgiven for our sins and resurrected after death. I think grace is best described as God's way of making up the difference between our faith and true purity. We have all fallen short of the glory of God and faith closes this gap. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Mormons consider all people worthy to receive service. We donate the cost of 2-3 meals a month to assist those in need. In addition we gladly doante a tithe of our income to the Church. This offering is used to further the work of the Lord. These funds also provide food, clothing, water and agricultural support to people worldwide. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the crowning event of the Plan of Salvation. This event, which took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, invloved Jesus Christ willingly accepted all of the misdeeds of the world as his burden to suffer. This culminated with the crucifixtion of Jesus at Calvary Hill. By doing this Our Lord and Savior has removed all ouf our misdeeds from our lives. The thoughtless acts we have committed, the hurtful things we have done and the pain we have received have all gone to Him. We will not suffer those things when we repent and place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By this same Atonement we will not suffer permanent death but be resurrected (rescued) from death and live again. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

This label was applied to the early members of the Church after their faith and devotion to the Book of Mormon. We do not believe it to be derogatory. Many members are proud of this monicker since it does show our value of The Book of Mormon. Mormonism is a casual term applied to the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are Christians and have Jesus Christ as the center of our faith. The term Mormonism relfects the teachings of Jesus Christ as has been restored to the Earth in these latter-days. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

You can contact the Church through this website or at LDS.org. There is a chat option where you can ask questions and one of our good missionaries will discuss your answers. You can extend this by having the missionaries come to where you live and provide some meaningful discussion of the Church. There will no pressure placed upon you. Should you want to proceed further to investigate the Church you can invite them back for a visit. If this is not what your looking for then politely decline future appointments. We are all God's children and care about you as an individual BUT we would never intentionally make you uncomfortable or offend you in any way. Give it a try...you will find that life is its own reward. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

The term cult is defined as a "group of religious believers". I think the use of the term cult, as applied to many peoples of faith (not just Mormons) is derogatory. It implies that individuals are tricked into joining the group and that the group practices a severe program of retaining its members. There are those who use this term cult out of ignorance and others as an attack on our faith. We do not force our beliefs on anyone and should our missionaries or members offer our faith you may politely decline with no hard feelings. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

At offical Church meetings men wear trousers with a shirt and tie. Depending on the climate a person lives in, members may wear suits or sport coats. Women wear dresses or skirts. When participating in Church activities members wear anything from nice casual clothes to blue jeans. We celebrate Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Mormons particiapte in national holidays as well. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

You will have to ask them this question however, most Mormon women I know are hard-working individuals that may be moms, employees, employers and Sisters in the Relief Society. In the Relief Society they learn about Jesus Christ and serve others. We believe that women and men are equal. We also believe they are different. This can't be denied. I remember as a child that mom was the first person I ran to see if I got hurt or needed comfort. I loved my father but there is a difference between mom and dad. We also believe in equal opportunity. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven't we always had the Bible?

The Restoration was needed to bring back that which was lost. Namely God's organization on the Earth. The Bible was complied by the religious and political leaders of the Eastern Roman Empire. Their preconceptions and understandings were the source and not God's revealed truths. In essence the Holy Bible is a compilation of scripture assembled by men. Although many plain truths were not included in the Bible it still contains God's Word and a testament of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

We believe that our Heavenly Father loves all his children. Baptism is a saving ordinance of the gospel. When a person is baptised all the misdeeds of their life are washed away and forgotten. A person can start over and become the individual they want to be. A fresh start is important to us all. God does not withold his message of peace and contentment from any or all. Proxy baptisms are God's way of offering baptism to those who have died without having the opportunity to receive this saving ordinance. Other faiths believe that those "who have passed" are not eligible to receive baptism, but we believe that God would not withold this blessing from an individual simply because they were born in another land and at a different time. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

We should have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Savior of humanity. By His example we learn how to properly interact with each other in this life. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

There are no restrictions on holding the priesthood. There are qualifications however. A young man must be at least 12 years old and strive to follow God's commandments to hold the Aaronic Priesthood. Worthy males of 18 years and older must do the same. In the Old Testament all worthy males were not eligible to receive the priesthood. Only those men in the tribe of Levi had this responsibility. A person's race or ethnicity is a blessing to them and their ancestors by simply holding the priesthood. I cannot adequately explain or defend the past practice of not extending the priesthood to all worthy males. This was changed in 1978 by revelation from God to President Spencer W. Kimball. It is a great event to this day and I am proud to sit in class with African, Indian, Hispanic and Asian members in our ward. We are part of a fabric that pulls together to bless the lives of others. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

The priesthood is an ancient order of worthy men that are called to serve Our Heavenly Father. They are to act as His representatives on the Earth. Priesthood holders are delegated the authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ. With the priesthood lies the authority to officiate in the ordinances of salvation (baptism, comfirmation, blessings, marriage). A priesthood holder is a servant that stands up for what is good and right. He will serve others in any capacity he is able and be a good example to those around him. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

We do believe that God's prophets still speak to us. In the Old Testament Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah. This was revealed to this great prophet by God. God has not become silent in our modern times. He continues to reveal His great work through prophets today. Prophets still testify of Christ to this day. These modern-day prophets are directed by God to deal with many of the challenges we face in our world. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Like other religions, Mormons have an organization of wards (like a parish or a congregation) and stakes (similar to a diocese or conference). Wards have about 150-500 members. Usually 5+ wards make up a stake. It is called a stake as a parallel to the Church being like a great tent with many stakes to support it. Branches are like a small ward. Branches are formed in an area were the Church is growing but there is less than 120 members in an area. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Joseph Smith was like many of us...he was searching for the truth. As a young farm boy from a large family, Joseph lived in upstate New York in the early 1800's. At that time there was great excitement about Jesus Christ and Christianity. There were many religious groups all claiming they possessed the purest knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These groups would compete amongst one another to convert those who were seeking God. Joseph attended all of the various groups and greatly desired to know God but was confused by the different teachings. Some of his family members become interested in one group or another group but Joseph was unsure of which to join. Joseph read in the Book of James in the Holy Bible where it read that a person should simply pray and ask God for the truth and God would answer that prayer. He retired to a secluded spot and offered up a sincere prayer about which of the local religious groups he should join. To his surprise he was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They appeared before him and explained that none of these groups had the entire Gospel. He was instructed to not join and of them. Joseph was surprised by the entire vision. The answer to his prayers was not what he expected. He wanted to know WHICH church to join. Instead he was given the responsibility to RESTORE the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. Joseph dedicated his life to this work. In 1844 he was murdered by an armed gang in Illinois. He gave his life for the Gospel. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

The Law of Chastity is about love and loyalty. It is to cleave unto your spouse in all things. It means that sexual relations are a bond between husband and wife, and no other. This loyalty makes a couple strong and enduring. It is the foundation of a stable and benevolent society. Show more Show less